When the NUS Business School decided to give out the Special Service Award to deserving alumni who have contributed to the alumni community and the School, two names came up instantly – Mr Peter Tay (BBA Hons 1975, MBA 1987) and Mr Yeo Keng Joon (MBA 1985).
The two award recipients however, were surprised to be given such an honor.
“I’m only doing my job!” says Mr Tay, who is currently the Managing Director of TPS Corporate Services Pte Ltd, a boutique firm specializing in providing corporate and consultancy services in local and offshore company incorporation, corporate secretarial and management services, international financing, trading and investment.
Mr Tay’s involvement with the School goes back to his student days. He was an active member of the Bizad Club and President of AIESEC-Singapore where he attended the Leadership Development Program and a Traineeship with Olivetti in Japan.
In 1986, he started BASA (Business Administration Society Alumni), which is the predecessor of NUS Business School Alumni. For his academic excellence and extra-circular activities in the university, he was awarded the Kesatuan Akademis (University Gold Medalist).
Since 2004, he has been President of the NUS Business Society Alumni Association, Chairman of the School’s International Resource Panel and a member of the School’s Advisory Board.
Similarly, Mr Yeo who also holds a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Chemistry from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia did not expect to win the award. “I’m humbled by this gesture,” he says.
He has been very active in alumni matters, being a past President of the MBA Alumni-NUS; Immediate Past President of the NUS Business School Alumni Association (NUSBSA) and a member of the NUS Alumni Advisory Board since its inception in 2005.
Since 2000, Mr Yeo has been appointed to the Board of Advisers of the NUS Business School. In 2006, he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Service by NUS.
“To me, contributing to the school is something I enjoy,” elaborates Mr Yeo. “Back during University days, I was already very active in the school. As such, what I’m doing now is like an extension to what I’ve always been doing.”
On how the two Special Service Award winners manage their time, Mr Tay believes “time is what you make of it”.
Apart from his contributions to the school, Mr Tay is also an active supporter and volunteer with several charitable organizations and uniformed youth groups. He is a Director with YMCA Singapore, an Adviser of the Board of Advisers, AIESEC-Singapore, and Honorary Vice President of the Boys’ Brigade in Singapore (since 1996).
Mr Yeo also adds, “It’s also about working with the people around you. We have been able to put successfully put together great teams of people to get things moving.”
In 2007, Mr Yeo single-handedly spearheaded an initiative for NUSBSA in raising about half a million Singapore dollars (with government matching) to set up 10 bursary funds valued at S$25,000 each. Alumni, faculty and friends rallied around this very worthy cause. This NUSBSA Bursary Fund will provide financial aid of $2,500 each for ten needy students from the NUS Business School yearly, in perpetuity.
When asked why both of them continue to contribute to their alma mater after so many years, Mr Yeo says, “I think it’s important that we stay connected with the School, and do what we can to help, whenever we can.”
“Yes, it’s like what they say in Chinese – ‘To remember the source of the water from which you drink’,” adds Mr Tay